In January, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invited the leaders of the five other Gulf Cooperation Council member states to a meeting in AlUla, where he put forward his collective reconciliation project. The AlUla Declaration was signed in the presence of representatives from Egypt, the US, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
At the time, even the most optimistic people only said something along the lines of: “Let us monitor the situation. We have six months to put the agreement to the test if possible. The differences are multiple and intertwined, individual and collective, and reconciliation projects cannot happen without difficult concessions.”
Now, almost a year since the AlUla Declaration was signed, we can now say that it has held its ground. The reconciliation projects have slowly moved forward and most of the contentious issues, from legal to political, have been agreed upon or dealt with. It must also be said that all governments have made concessions. The Gulf reconciliation projects were accompanied by surprising and exciting agreements, most notably between Egypt and Turkey, which took place after several detailed meetings.
The crown prince on Monday began his tour of the five other GCC capitals when he landed in Muscat. His journey will develop what he started in AlUla in January. His visit was preceded by news of further breakthroughs as a result of the reconciliation agreement: Turkey expressed its desire to expand the circle of reconciliation project with Saudi Arabia under the auspices of the emir of Qatar; the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to Ankara two weeks ago; this week’s visit of the UAE national security adviser to Tehran, where he met with the Iranian president; and the Saudi-Iranian meetings that took place over recent months in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.